鈥榃ell, then, I鈥檓 sure that鈥檚 all comfortably settled,鈥?she said, 鈥榓nd pray, Mamma, and you, Thomas, don鈥檛 go worrying each other any more, when we might be having such a pleasant family party, on Sunday afternoon too. Come along with me, Mamma, and let鈥檚 have our coffee served in my boudoir, and let鈥檚 all sit and cool after our lunch.鈥? He took her hand and playfully pretended to feel her pulse. Chapter 15 鈥淭he Last Chronicle of Barset鈥? 澳洲时时彩计划网页 He took her hand and playfully pretended to feel her pulse. "Choose partners鈥攃hoose partners for 'Auld Lang Syne,'" said the White Chief. And it doesn't cost a cent. Our pleasant mirth, our loves, our wine, our sport, All afternoon they worked within a few yards of each other, all afternoon his accusing conscience battered at his pride; and as she rose to go when the day鈥檚 work was over, he capitulated. He stood up also, grim and stern to the view, but beset with a shy pathetic anxiety that she would accept his regrets. "When I received your letter," he said, addressing his father, "I chartered two vessels and persuaded Archie and Jonathan Campbell to go with me for a pleasure trip. We were nearly three months tossing about at the mercy of wind and wave when a hurricane swept the deck of the vessel, carrying with it the main-mast and sails. Water began to pour in at an alarming rate, and after a desperate struggle at the pumps the captain ordered all hands on deck. We felt that we had to prepare for the worst. The sailors had abandoned the pumps from exhaustion, and Jonathan and I took their places and worked until we, too, were exhausted, and as others took our places we retired to the stern, where we found Archie in a sheltered nook, seated upon a coil of rope, playing his violin, apparently oblivious of our perilous condition. As what I now write will certainly never be read till I am dead, I may dare to say what no one now does dare to say in print 鈥?though some of us whisper it occasionally into our friends鈥?ears. There are places in life which can hardly be well filled except by 鈥淕entlemen.鈥?The word is one the use of which almost subjects one to ignominy. If I say that a judge should be a gentleman, or a bishop, I am met with a scornful allusion to 鈥淣ature鈥檚 Gentlemen.鈥?Were I to make such an assertion with reference to the House of Commons, nothing that I ever said again would receive the slightest attention. A man in public life could not do himself a greater injury than by saying in public that the commissions in the army or navy, or berths in the Civil Service, should be given exclusively to gentlemen. He would be defied to define the term 鈥?and would fail should he attempt to do so. But he would know what he meant, and so very probably would they who defied him. It may be that the son of a butcher of the village shall become as well fitted for employments requiring gentle culture as the son of the parson. Such is often the case. When such is the case, no one has been more prone to give the butcher鈥檚 son all the welcome he has merited than I myself; but the chances are greatly in favour of the parson鈥檚 son. The gates of the one class should be open to the other; but neither to the one class nor to the other can good be done by declaring that there are no gates, no barrier, no difference. The system of competitive examination is, I think, based on a supposition that there is no difference. He took her hand and playfully pretended to feel her pulse. In writing Phineas Finn I had constantly before me the necessity of progression in character 鈥?of marking the changes in men and women which would naturally be produced by the lapse of years. In most novels the writer can have no such duty, as the period occupied is not long enough to allow of the change of which I speak. In Ivanhoe, all the incidents of which are included in less than a month, the characters should be, as they are, consistent throughout. Novelists who have undertaken to write the life of a hero or heroine have generally considered their work completed at the interesting period of marriage, and have contented themselves with the advance in taste and manners which are common to all boys and girls as they become men and women. Fielding, no doubt, did more than this in Tom Jones, which is one of the greatest novels in the English language, for there he has shown how a noble and sanguine nature may fall away under temptation and be again strengthened and made to stand upright. But I do not think that novelists have often set before themselves the state of progressive change 鈥?nor should I have done it, had I not found myself so frequently allured back to my old friends. So much of my inner life was passed in their company, that I was continually asking myself how this woman would act when this or that event had passed over her head, or how that man would carry himself when his youth had become manhood, or his manhood declined to old age. It was in regard to the old Duke of Omnium, of his nephew and heir, and of his heir鈥檚 wife, Lady Glencora, that I was anxious to carry out this idea; but others added themselves to my mind as I went on, and I got round me a circle of persons as to whom I knew not only their present characters, but how those characters were to be affected by years and circumstances. The happy motherly life of Violet Effingham, which was due to the girl鈥檚 honest but long-restrained love; the tragic misery of Lady Laura, which was equally due to the sale she made of herself in her wretched marriage; and the long suffering but final success of the hero, of which he had deserved the first by his vanity, and the last by his constant honesty, had been foreshadowed to me from the first. As to the incidents of the story, the circumstances by which these personages were to be affected, I knew nothing. They were created for the most part as they were described. I never could arrange a set of events before me. But the evil and the good of my puppets, and how the evil would always lead to evil, and the good produce good 鈥?that was clear to me as the stars on a summer night.